Monday, September 30, 2013

Confession: I Have a Crush on my Running Shirt


We all have them. 

With our partners, families, kids, friends, co-workers, pets, bus drivers, baristas, massage therapists...

We might not have relationships with all of the above but we all have relationships with some of the above...and more. 

We also, as far as I'm concerned, have relationships with things. And, for the running, swimming, cycling athletes out there a lot of these relationships are with sporty things. 

I have a very good relationship with a long-sleeved running shirt. It's super soft, thin, it has built-in gloves that pull back easily when my hands get too warm. I have worn it for probably four years now, perhaps five. As soon as it's cold enough for long sleeves, it's the only shirt I wear until the spring warmth returns. It fits beautifully, have NEVER caused any chafing and fits well under multiple layers on winter runs. I have a drawer of long-sleeved running shirts and this is the only one I ever pull on for an actual run. When it eventually bites the dust, there will be a mourning period. 

You have been warned. 

I have a love-hate relationship with my running belt. I love the fact that it allows me to be self-sufficient on long runs. It allows me to carry all the carbs I need, plus my glucometer, tissues and lip balm. My pump hooks on securely and never budges no matter how many kilometres I run. My running belt  keeps me safe...and hydrated. It's also heavy, it chafes, it slows me down and I dread putting it on. 

I have broken up with two pairs of goggles because we just couldn't get along. In fact I bought one pair of prescription goggles, wore them twice, hated them twice and gave them to a girl I swim with who, as it turns out, can see very well with them and finds them really comfortable. Good riddance and I hope the two of them live happily ever after.

I have since found a pair that I am more compatible with and have bought a back up pair that sits in my bag ready to go at a moment's notice. When I find something I like, I stick to it.

I have also broken up with running shoes. With swim caps. With running pants and with cycling gloves. Sometimes I find a way to work things out, other times I send them packing. When I reach that point, no amount of relationship therapy will help. 

I have four running hats that I received at various races. They all fit well. I decide which one to wear based on my mood that day and the weather. If it's a hot sunny day, I wear the white one. If it's a cold sunny day, I wear the black one. If it's neither, I just go with what feels fun that morning. I do not have a bff hat. 

I do have a bff sports bra. And running t-shirt. Oh, and running shorts. And running pants. 

Socks - I go with whatever is at the top of the sock drawer. 

Bathing suit? I buy a different kind every time I need a new one. As long as it fits well in the change room and is chlorine resistant - I'm happy. Swim cap? I use the free ones I get at triathlons. They fit well, much better than the ones I've actually spent money on, and I think it's fun to wear something with my race number on it. It makes me feel fast! 

But when one finally rips and needs to be replaced, I grab another one out of my bag and don't think twice about it. 

Relationships with athletic clothes are kinda like relationships with family. Some you can't imagine living without. Some you're happy to see when you see them but don't miss them when they're gone. Others you put up with because, well, because they're family. And you have to. Even though they're annoying, or mean, or a pain in the ass - literally. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

My Logic May Not Be Your Logic

Yesterday I was at an all-day meeting that was out of town. When we were planning the meeting, we talked about going out for lunch. A few days later we then decided that it made more sense to order in from the restaurant next door so that we could work right through. 

When we were planning to go out for lunch, I was happy to do that. 

Once I heard we were ordering in, I immediately thought 'great, I can bring my own lunch!'. 

Yesterday, six ladies perused the menu and ordered a variety of things from the local irish pup. I headed to the office kitchen and reheated my quinoa, kale, black bean, sweet potato concoction. 


Because I'm pretty picky with what I spend disposable income on and meals out don't usually make the cut...unless we're on vacation or celebrating something. 

And because given the choice between a healthy, already prepared lunch or a restaurant lunch that usually ends up being more calories, salt, carbs etc than I want, I'll pick the health option.  


Yesterday I called my car dealership about a tire deal they had going on. They are having a buy three get one for $1 all-season tire sale. I will be putting my winter tires on in a few months and, in the spring, I will need to buy new all-season tires because the ones I have on now are nearing the end of the life. When I heard about this deal I called. I got all the prices, confirmed that they would store them for me all winter at no cost, confirmed that the deal was actually pretty competitive...and then decided not to do it. 


Because if I buy the tires now, it's an unplanned purchased that I haven't yet saved for. That means that it goes on my credit card. If I wait until spring, I will have saved up the money I need for new tires and I can pay in cash. There may or may not be a deal in the spring but, even if there isn't, I will still save all the interest that would have been charged to my card as I pay off the tires. 


The other night I was sitting on the couch wearing pants and a t-shirt. It was a little chilly in the house and Doug asked if I wanted a blanket. I said no. 


I told him I was going to bed in a few minutes and, if I curl up under a blanket, I won't want to get off the couch and go to bed. If I stay a little chilly, I'll finish what I'm doing and then head to bed where it's warm. 

He looked at me, smiled and said "I'm sure there is logic in there somewhere".

It's funny eh? I'm a pretty logical person and I make most decisions based on well-thought out, rational reasons. They always make sense to me and I can always defend my thinking process. 

It doesn't mean that the thinking process make sense to the people who live outside of my head. 

I guess that's what makes life interesting though isn't it? If everyone thought and acted the same, we'd never be able to cock our heads at the ones we love and wonder what they heck they're thinking. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Difference a Decade Makes

I'm approaching my 11th anniversary of living with Diabetes. There's just over a month left in my tenth year and then my diabetes will, without much fanfare, turn 11 years old.

I thought about that the other night as I tested my blood sugar in the dark, sent a correction bolus to my pump and rolled back over for a few more hours of sleep.

Ten years isn't that long.

But it is a really long time to be living with this relentless disease.

When I was first diagnosed, I was given a glucometer that counted down for 30 seconds before I got the results. I used to prick my finger, suck up the droplet and then do something else (like put on a pot of tea) while waiting for the beep.

And when you feel awful but aren't totally sure if you're high or low, those 30 seconds last a really really long time.

I was also put on injections and prescribed one of those insulins that spikes at set times during the day. So I had to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at a set time and I had to eat the exact number of carbs that was prescribed by my doctor. Never mind if I wasn't hungry, if I was hungrier than the carbs allowed or, heaven forbid, someone brought cupcakes to work at 2pm.

That lasted only as long as it took to get my first appointment at the Diabetes Centre. They gently suggested that I ask my doctor for a change to something more suited to my lifestyle I was put on Levemir as a slow-acting insulin and Humalog for my fast-acting pre-meal insulin.

Big difference!

I used to have to count carbs, figure out how much insulin to take based on my BG and the carbs I was about to eat, subtract for exercise, add for high blood sugars and try to remember how much I had taken a few hours later when I was dealing with a post-meal high or low.

Before I was diagnosed, I never used a purse. In fact I hated them.

It didn't take long before I bought one.

I used to carry two juice boxes in my purse as my emergency glucose supply because I had been told at the hospital that juice is the fastest acting carb. Juice boxes, for the record, are really heavy when you have to lug them in your purse all day. I soon switched to life savers but they hurt my teeth after a while because I had to chomp on them in order for them to work fast enough. Then came red licorice. Followed by those little packs of fruit chews. And Giant Rockets. Then raisins and Dex4s.

Aside: how do menfolk deal carry all their diabetes paraphernalia? I have my glucometer, spare test strips, batteries, emergency glucagon and lots of carbs on me at all times. If I'm more than an hour from home, I also bring a back up needle and insulin and if I'm going overnight I carry extra insulin and two site changes just in case. There is no way that is fitting in my pocket. 

Ten years ago I didn't run. Or cycle. Swim, golf and curling weren't on my radar either. I walked though - does that count?

Ten years is a long time.

I was 28 when I was diagnosed. I'm 39 now.

Today I have a glucometer that lights up at night, tests my BG in 5 seconds, and talks to my insulin pump so I can bolus wirelessly. Is also calculates the insulin dosage I need based on carbs, BG and Insulin on Board.

I have a small glucometer that also tests in 5 seconds and that I can carry with me on long runs and to races.

Yes indeed, I took up running, cycling, swimming, curling and golf. All after I was diagnosed. All because they are fun to do and also because they help me feel like I'm kicking the diabetes gods in their proverbial asses. Like last Saturday when I rocked an 18k run in the pouring rain. I felt like I should be wearing a shirt that read "yep, I'm running 18k in the rain AND I have diabetes!"

I can SWAG a handful of raisins and get it just right so that I start a 6k run with a BG of 5.8 and finish with a BG of 6.0.

For the record, SWAG stands for Scientific Wild Ass Guess and it's how we T1s figure out the number of carbs in that pasta dish at the italian restaurant or how many raisins to eat before heading out for a run. A combination of science and voodoo that we learn through trial and error. 

I have a waterproof insulin pump.

I write a blog about diabetes.

I have friends with diabetes.

I get asked to help other people with diabetes.

Oh, and despite what I was promised in the hospital, diabetes hasn't been cured yet.

I'm not holding out hope that this will change any time soon. If it does - yay! In the meantime - I got a life to live ya'll and I'm not wasting any time waiting around for a cure. Call me when it's ready eh?

The next ten years?

I do expect the next decade to be full of new and improved diabetes devices that will make my 5-second glucometer seem ancient and pokey, my wifi ready waterproof pump to look rather mundane and my Dex4s feel like old-fashioned juice boxes.

I expect I'll be rocking the continuous glucose monitor.

I expect I'll still be running, swimming, cycling, curling and golfing. I may be doing other things too but, at some point, something's gotta give...or I have to retire at 49.

I can remember my first day with diabetes. In fact, the first week is pretty much seared into my memory. The second week, when I returned to work and real life, is fairly clear too. It gets rather fuzzy after that although I do many of my firsts. My first run. My first pump. My first night at home alone. My first ketones. My first stomach flu. My first BG of 1.2.

Dear Diabetes - I would never have chosen you and you've spent a good part of our relationship acting like an asshole. But my life is what it is today because of you. And I really love my life.

So thank you for that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Habits - Some You Gotta Have. Some You Wanna Have.

It's interesting to see how quickly I can turn something completely new and different into a habit.

Take last night's dinner for example. It was one of my home-alone concoctions that involved a toaster oven (for roasting sweet potatoes), a small pot (for making quinoa), a larger pot with a strainer on top (for steaming kale), a can opener and strainer (for the black beans), a package of goat cheese and some olive oil and soy sauce.

Each items takes a different amount of time to cook and this must be carefully timed so everything is hot at the same time. All dishes must be washed, dried and put away before eating dinner because I hate washing and drying the dishes alone. When Doug is home, we do them together after we eat and it's easy and fun. When I'm alone, I want to linger over dinner while sipping wine and reading something - I don't want have to worry about clean-up.

So all dishes must be washed, dried and put away before eating.

When I make the meal I made last night, it also makes several lunches. That means that I need various sized plastic containers for each ingredient to store them in the fridge. Plus I need to make sure I have a large enough container left over so I can use it to create the yummy mix of ingredients that becomes my lunch.

I've only made this dinner a handful of times. I made it up after eating at Fresh in Toronto with my little sis and loving a dish I had ordered.

The first time I made it was a bit of a shot in the dark. It worked out beautifully and was delicious. A cooking and eating adventure.

By the second time I had it all figured out and now it's an easy routine.

A habit.

Just like rolling out of bed before 5am and getting myself to the pool. Every step from waking up to arriving home is worked out - well except for the workout which is always a surprise. Turning early morning workouts into habits prevents me from forgetting something essential like my goggles or my underwear and also ensures that I have my towel, shampoo and soap for after my swim. I've seen people wake up before dawn, drive all the way to the pool only to discover they have forgotten something critical and be unable to swim.

No thank you! Not after getting up at that hour.

Changing my infusion site for my pump?


The first time is so confusing with all the buttons and warnings and packages to open. The second time is hesitant but better and within two weeks I could change my infusion site, separate all the waste into garbage and recycling and still be done in under five minutes.

Easy peasy.

Don't even get me started about testing my blood sugar.

Some things become habits because they need to be. Diabetes management is like that. I can't afford not to be on top of things so making things a habit ensures that I don't forget the important stuff. Like testing my blood sugar before bed. Or before exercise. Or making sure I have carbs with me when I go swimming, cycling or running.

Other things become habits because I love them and do them so much that I've figured out the best way to enjoy the entire process. Like making my dinner last night. While things were happily roasting, simmering and steaming, I was perched at the kitchen counter writing about how much I love making this dinner.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stretch Cords and Buckets

For the first time in months, last Friday's swim workout involved stretch cords and buckets. My favourite!

There were only four of us in the pool doing that workout so we were split into groups of two. I was paired with a young swimmer that I will call Mr. Fast and Furious. I was told to watch his stroke while on the stretch cords because 'his stroke is perfect'.

How's that for an early morning ego boost?

Mr F2 and I headed to the deep end to tether ourselves to the stretch cords. We were told to swim until the cord was tight and hold it for 20 strokes, then pull harder for 20 strokes and end with 20 strokes as hard as we could. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Ten times.

We headed off and, by the time he had stretched his cord out he was more than half way down the pool. I was a quarter of the way down the pool so there was no way I was studying his stroke. I couldn't event study his toes. I was about 20 strokes into the first one when he came swimming back to the wall. What?!? Is his turnover rate that fast that he can get 60 strokes in before I do 20?


He's just so strong that he broke the cord.


He broke two of them before we finished our first session on the stretch cords.

We then headed to the shallow end to pull buckets. I was given two buckets to pull. He was given three. We had 3 x 200m to do. He lapped me within the first 100m and got his 600m done before I finished 400m.

We headed back to the stretch cords and then back to the buckets again. The second time on the buckets he pulled five.


I pulled two.

He lapped me again. This time it took him 150m to do it. I offered to let him pull me too so that he had a bit of a challenge.

After all the stretching and pulling, we finished off the workout with some sprints. It's always fun sprinting after being tethered to things. It feels like we're flying through the water. We did a 100m sprint followed by two 50m ones. Lots of rest in between.

I did the 100m in 1:36 and the 50m ones in 42 seconds. Super fast!!

The take home message of workouts like stretch cords and buckets?

It's not about whether I can keep up to Mr. Five Buckets. It's about whether I can complete a tough workout and then, at the very end, pull out a fast sprint that rivals my best times.

I failed the first challenge but rocked the second one.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Runner's Story of Pride and Pain

On Saturday, I had the best run I've had since March.

I also had the most painful post-run weekend I've had since...I don't remember. Maybe since ever.

I woke up on Saturday morning to rain. Lots of rain. We lounged in bed for a while listening to it and checking out different weather reports. They all said that same. It was supposed to rain all day. I was supposed to run 18k. My choices were: a) run in the rain or b) run on Sunday at the expense of my Sunday bike ride.

I opted to run in the rain.

I slathered on the Body Glide in all the usual spots. I pulled on my trusty sports bra, shorts and t-shirt that I've worn all summer. My heart rate monitor. My iPod shuffle. My ID bracelet and my Garmin. I loaded up my running belt with my glucometer, GUs, raisins, tissues and two bottles of water.

I turned on my watch and my music and headed out into the rain.

It took less than a minute to be soaked through. And truth be told, it was lovely. The temperature was comfortable, the rain was warm and there was no wind to speak of.  My earbuds refused to stay in my ears because everything was so wet so I tucked them away and ran sans musique. I quickly settled into a comfortable pace and just enjoyed.

It became pretty easy to identify the cars driven by people like me. They were the ones who honked and gave a thumbs up.

I only saw one other runner and it was a good friend of mine. She was running 20 miles on her own, doing loops so that she could run home and change shoes every so often. We commented on the lovely weather and the importance in training in all conditions and headed on our merry ways.

I ran 12k and then stopped for a big drink. Everything was so wet that I didn't even bother trying to check my blood sugar. I had nothing to dry my hands on and no way to keep my glucometer dry if I took it out of the ziplock bag it was hiding in. So I tried to gauge how I was feeling. I felt good - not low but not high. So I ate a box of raisins hoping it would carry me home without causing a blood sugar spike. I carried on and ran the last 6k without incident.

I made it home after 1 hour and 54 minutes of running. My body felt good. My foot felt fine. My energy was starting to flag but it was a huge improvement from my last two long runs. Doug had left me a towel by the door (thank goodness). I dried off a bit, peeled off my running digs, pulled on warm comfy clothes and checked my blood sugar. It was 3.8. A little low but, considering I ran 18k without any sense of how I was doing, I was happy with the result.

I stretched my tired muscles. I drank my chocolate milk and ate my post-run Clif Builder Bar that I love. I was feeling pretty proud of myself and happy to know that my running strength was returning.

That peaceful, post-run feeling vanished when I hopped into the shower and the warm water hit.

I muffled my scream and leaned against the wall until the pain-induced nausea passed.

I learned a new lesson about running in soaking wet clothes for two hours. I was horribly chafed in places I had never chafed before. I was equally raw in places I usually chafe and where I had applied a thick layer of Body Glide. I showered as carefully as I could and then I tried to apply some aloe vera, my usual chafing treatment.

It burned so much that I had to ask Doug to do it so I could just concentrate on not passing out.

I have chafed before but never to this extent. The rest of Saturday was spent on the couch in the loosest, softest clothes I owned. Saturday night was a rather painful sleep with no position providing much relief.

And Sunday morning's bike ride?

I had to pass because the idea of pulling on cycling shorts and a sports bra was unthinkable. So I pulled on a tank top and loose clothes to do some yoga instead.

Why is it that chafing never hurts when it's happening? I would have stopped, headed home to change or done something if I had known. But everything felt fine, great even, during the run.

It's only when I hopped in the shower that I discovered the extent of the damage.

Lesson learned.

I'm going to look quite the sight at the pool on Monday - covered in nasty red welts and rashes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Night Off

Ever have one of those nights when you just want to curl up on the couch with a snack, a drink and a good show? 

Not think. Not exercise. Not do much of anything?

Well, I had one of those last night and, as a result, blogging did not make it off the to-do list. 

Running on Carbs is taking an extra long weekend. 

See y'all on Monday! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Exactly IS a Naturopath Anyway?

Anyone out there ever been to a naturopath?

I haven't.

In fact I'm not totally clear on what exactly a naturopath does. I know that they can order tests to check for food allergies. I know they look at a person's overall health, lifestyle, eating habits etc and can make recommendations of things to start doing or to stop doing. I know of people who have had food intolerances or allergies diagnosed by a naturopath when no one else could figure it out.

There's a bit of a void in my knowledge however and I have to work hard not to let words like 'tincture', 'garlic pills' and 'remove all sugar, caffeine and alcohol from your diet' prejudice my thinking.

There has been some naturopath talk around the office this week. We do have coverage under our work benefits but none of us have ever gone to see one. The more I think about it, the more I'm intrigued. I mean really, what's the worst that can happen?

I bring in three days of food and drink intake and the naturopath gasps in horror? Recommends that I cut down my one cup of coffee per day? My afternoon chocolate fix? My glass or two of wine after work?

I'll probably say thank you for the advice and head home to my coffee, chocolate or wine depending on the time of day.

They might, however, notice other things that I have not picked up on. Perhaps I'm low in something I didn't know I was low in. Maybe the little ridges in my nails don't mean that I have nails with ridges. Maybe they mean I'm missing something in my diet. Maybe the constant dark circles under my eyes aren't there because I get up before 5 many mornings per week but because something is off in my digestive system.

Maybe I eat too many fruit in the morning and should spread them out a little more. Maybe I'm overdosing on chia seeds or bananas.

Maybe they'll discover I have a tapeworm?

Or an allergy to Aero bars.


And, for the record, by Aero bars I mean these:

Not these:

I don't actually have any reason to go see a naturopath. It's not like I am experiencing digestive issues or food intolerances. I'm not in the habit of making appointments with medical professionals out of curiosity. Heck, I don't even go for a massage unless there's a medical reason for it (like my shins are tight...again).

I am sufficiently intrigued by the idea that I may find myself making an appointment in the near future.

Any of you nice folks ever been to one? What did you think? Is it worth exploring?

And what about the whole Type 1 thing? How did they handle that? Did they understand the fact that sometimes we need to eat when we don't want to and sometimes we can't eat even when we're hungry? Or the fact that refined sugars can play a pretty important role in our diets whether we want them to or not?

Let me know what you've experienced and I'll let you know what I learn.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just Because it Looks Easy...

It’s week two of our fall Masters class at the pool and I’m back to swimming three times per week. No more open-water swims until late spring for this girl. 

Every time a new class starts we get a few more recruits. Some come once or twice and are never seen again. Others struggle to keep up for the first little while until they get their feet wet. They stick around long enough to build up their endurance and strength and, soon enough, they’re helping the new recruits arriving for the next session.

On Monday morning, a fairly innocent looking workout was written on the board.

200m swim
10x50m breast stroke with fly legs (which means do breast stroke with your arms but do a dolphin kick with your legs – very tiring as it turned out!)
Main set – to be repeated three times.
9x75m (first 25m easy, second 25m medium, last 25m sprint)
2x25m drill

Most of our workouts fill the entire whiteboard. This one had four lines. How hard could it be?

Lesson 1: don’t judge a workout by the number of space it takes up on the whiteboard.

Lesson 2: don’t judge your strength by the person next to you.

We divided up into three lanes. I shared a lane with Mr. 70.3. A strong, fast, consistent swimmer who just finished a fabulous half ironman 8 days earlier.

We started into our first 9x75m and decided to swim side by side rather than one after the other. I was ahead during the first 25m (slow), stayed ahead during the second 25m (medium) and finished a few seconds before 70.3 after the last 25m (sprint). My goal was to stay even or just ahead of him. It was tough but I did it for all nine.

At which point he announced that he was taking it easy because he was still recovering from his race.

We panted at the wall for a minute or so and then headed into our second set of 9x75m. This time, I stayed even during the first 25m, struggled to hold position during the second and worked my butt off to not let him get more than half a body length ahead by the end. It might sound funny but his black bathing suit became my focus. I did my darnedest not to let his waistband get ahead of my hands. We finished all nine and I was exhausted.

At which point he announced again that he was feeling pretty tired and not going as fast as he normally would.

When we started the third and final set, he took off like a bullet. Actually, he probably took off at the same speed as before but I was getting slower by the second so he just looked like a bullet. I struggled to catch him but could not do it. My standard quickly lowered from keeping up with him in the first set, to keeping up with his waistband in the second set to just keeping his toes in sight by the third.

Our coach told me to watch my arms as my form was starting to fall apart. “I know, I can feel it” I replied. “I can’t believe how tired my arms are getting”.

“It’s a tough workout” she replied.

No kidding! It sure didn’t look like it on the board!

I focused on my form and on keeping up with 70.3’s toes. I may have slowed down but I continued to work on building my speed throughout the 75m and always finished with a sprint. Albeit a slower one.

Apparently, as I learned afterwards, this workout helps train us to push when we’re tired. It helps train our body to keep working hard and gets us to practice keeping good swimming form when our muscles are flagging.

I high-fived 70.3 at the end and congratulated him on maintaining his pace throughout the workout. 

And I didn’t tell him that I had spent the better part of the hour and a half focused on his bathing suit.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What to Wear? What to Wear?

Summer and Fall have been duking it out. We all know who is going to win the battle but Summer is not taking the end of its reign lying down. 

Which means that last week we experienced temperatures that were in the high thirties followed by days that were as cold as 8 degrees. Plus a lot of wind of course. Oh, and tons of rain. And sunshine. 

Friday night, Doug and I were in a golf event together. It was cold, windy and spitting rain. I wore my thin golf pants, a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, a down vest and a rain jacket. By the end I had taken my jacket off but everything else remained. 

On Saturday morning, it was 8 degrees and windy. I dressed for my run in shorts, a thin long-sleeved shirt, a light vest and a running hat. Doug dressed for his run in pants, a long-sleeved shirt and a jacket. 

I was a little too warm for most of my run but grateful for the vest when the wind picked up. Doug said he was fairly comfortable on his run. 

On Sunday morning, it was 11 degrees. This time we were going cycling. If there is one thing I've learned from running and cycling outdoors in Canada, it's that cycling in cold weather makes it feel colder. Running makes it feel warmer. It has everything to do with speed and wind. 

So I dressed with that in mind. I pulled on my running pants with my cycling shorts over top. I put on a long-sleeved shirt with my short-sleeved cycling jersey over top. 

Doug came downstairs in shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. 

We both looked at each other. I second-guessed my clothing choices. I'm not sure if he second-guessed his but neither of us changed our outfit. I figured that one of us was going to be really uncomfortable. 

We met up with the rest of our cycling group. All but one was in shorts. Only a few even had long sleeves. Doug fit right in. I looked like I was dressed for an unexpected snow-storm. 

I was comfortable, if a little on the warm side during the steep uphill climbs. Everyone else seemed pretty comfortable too. 

Winter and summer are pretty easy to deal with as an athlete. It's these shoulder seasons that leave me second-guessing. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

IOB - It Actually Does Make a Difference

I really like a lot of things about insulin pumps.

I love some of them.

I really really love Insulin on Board. It's one of those things that doesn't just claim to make my life easier...

like this handy-dandy spaghetti measurer / pasta scooper / cheese grater actually does.

Insulin lasts in the body for a certain amount of time. It varies with the type of insulin, the person and, because we're talking about diabetes, a million other variables including the number of dragons flying overhead, the weather, who won Le Tour de France and the number of children Brangelina have.

For me, Humalog (the insulin I use in my pump) typically lasts about three hours in my system. So if I take six units at noon, I will (theoretically) have four units left by 1pm, two units by 2pm and my lunch bolus should be out of my system by 3pm.

Insulin on Board refers to the amount of insulin left in my system and Lucky, my pump, calculates it for me.

"This is great because...?" you ask.

Well, here is one example. Let's pretend that I had lunch at noon and bolused for it. Two hours later, I'm 9.0. Nine is a high number that, normally, I wouldn't want to see. So I'll tell Lucky that my blood sugar is 9.0. Lucky will do his math thing and he might tell me that I should take 1.5 units of insulin to correct the high.

But wait!! Lucky says. You have 1.5 units of insulin on board from lunch so you don't need to take anything.

Before my pump I used to have to remember how much insulin I took with my lunch, do some math in my head to figure out how much I'd need to bring my BG down from 9.0, guesstimate out whether I had that amount left in my system, hope that Brangelina hadn't adopted any children over the weekend and bolus accordingly.

Last weekend Doug and I had a busy Saturday. We ran 10k in the morning, had breakfast, showered and then hopped in the car for a 2-hour drive to a family event. My blood sugar was high when I woke up but it dropped nicely down to 7.2 after my run. I bolused for breakfast (minus a bit because I had just run) and then I changed my pump. I also changed my battery since it was getting low. I showered and we left.

About 30 minutes into our drive, I felt pretty awful. A quick BG check showed that I was 15.5. My pump told me that I needed 2.5 units to correct the high so I took it.

Right after the insulin was delivered, my brain said "but what about insulin on board?".


Lucky said that I didn't have any but I had taken five units with breakfast only 1 1/2 hours earlier. So I should still have almost 3 units lefts. I double checked that I actually did bolus for breakfast (I did). I double-checked my insulin on board. The bolus I just took was there but nothing from breakfast.

That's scary.

I tried to figure out what might have happened. I haven't changed any settings on my pump. But I did change my battery. Is that it? Does changing a battery wipe out recent IOB memory? If so, that's a little disconcerting.

As it so happens, my BG was really high all day so the extra bolus I accidentally took didn't do much damage but it could have.

I'll have to be attentive the next time I change the battery to see if it happens again.

If so, I'm thinking I need to have a chat with Animas to let them know.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Two Doctors and One Looney Tunes Nurse

Yesterday I had two different medical appointments.

Back to back.

I had my annual eye exam at 9am followed by a visit with my GP at 10:15am. The appointments were in different cities, 30 minutes apart. I was a little worried about time - not a lot but a little. I didn't want the first appointment to run late and I didn't want to wait too long for my GP because I had a busy day at work. I figured, best case, I'd be back at my desk within three hours.

First stop: eye doctor. This was my second visit with her, having switched after my regular doctor retired. She greeted me with a handshake and asked me the regular questions about eye injuries, issues, concerns, current medications.

"Are your blood sugars stable?" she asked.

I smiled, cocked my head and replied "I have type 1 diabetes. My blood sugars will never be 'stable'."

"Well, do they fluctuate very much?"

"I have Type 1 diabetes" I repeated gently. "My blood sugars can go down to 2.0 and up to the high 20s."

"Well, how often do they do that? What's an 'typical' blood sugar number for you?"

"Are you asking for my A1C? If so, that's 6.6. But please realize that, no matter how hard I try, I won't be able to stop the highs and the lows. That's kinda how Type 1 diabetes works." She smiled kindly and gave me a gentle lecture on the importance of keeping my blood sugars well managed and under control in order to avoid complications. I smiled kindly back and said I would do my best.

The rest of the appointment went very well. I have no diabetes damage, no cataracts forming, no glaucoma, no nothing. And my prescription is stable. Good news all around.

The entire appointment lasted 20 minutes so I was able to drive to my GP's office and make it in time to stop at the bank en route.

I walked in to a packed waiting room. In fact, it was so packed that I took the last seat - right next to the freezing cold air conditioner vent that was running full blast. Fabulous. I pulled out my iPad to read, vowing to move to the first available chair before my feet went numb. The door opened, the nurse came out, "Céline?" she said. I looked around, discovered I was the only "Céline" in town and walked in past a sea of frowning faces.

"Are you Céline" the nurse asked as she sat down at the computer. "Yes." I replied, wondering if she thought I was stealing Céline's spot in line or something.

"And you're a newly diagnosed diabetic" she stated. "No, I've had diabetes for almost 11 years" I replied. "Oh, ok" she said.

"It says here that you take glucagon and insulin. Is that correct?"

"Well, I don't take glucagon. That's like an epi pen for diabetes emergencies. I take insulin though."

"Oh, ok" she replied.

"Do you want to know my other meds?" I prompted.

"No, that's fine. When is the last time you saw your eye doctor?"

"This morning at 9am" I said. "Do you want to know the results?"

"No, that's fine. Can you stand on the scale please?"

I stood up, walked three feet to the scale and stepped on...just in time to watch her walk out the door. Um? Hello? I stood there, with my nose almost touching the wall, wondering what to do. She came back in a minute or two later. "Sorry. So you weigh 163 pounds. Does that sound right?" I nodded. She walked three steps over to the desk and sat down. "We said 160 pounds right?". I nodded again. No point in fighting the woman who thinks I take glucagon with my breakfast.

"Let me check your sugar!". She grabbed my finger, swabbed it with alcohol and pricked it. A drop of blood formed and immediately spread out in the still wet alcohol on my finger. She turned to the computer and frowned. "You're Céline right?" she asked. "Yep, I haven't changed since the last time you asked" I replied sweetly, sitting there with a drying puddle of blood on my finger. "Oh right!" she said and grabbed a test strip. "Where did all the blood go?" she asked frowning as she squeezed the now healed finger.

"Blood pressure!!" she announced after managing to milk enough blood out of my finder. My blood pressure, not surprisingly, was the highest I have ever seen it at 136/84. I don't usually stress at medical appointments but I think this lady was becoming a little much.

Thankfully, she left and my GP came in moments later. I asked for a few prescription refills and I asked for the results of my bone density test. Apparently my T-score (new to me) was -1.4. Anything under 0.0 indicates some bone loss but osteoporosis isn't diagnosed until you hit -2.5. So apparently I've lost some but not enough to do anything other than take calcium and vitamin D. My doctor said that the bone loss is most likely due to diabetes (dammit!) although osteoporosis does run in my family so it's not that surprising.

Two appointments, enough bizarre moments to be able to write a blog about them and I was back at my desk in under two hours, in spite of the hour drive to and from appointments.

Another day in the life of a T1 superhero.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Two Camps of Diabetes Observers

Diabetes is such a weird disease in that it's so private and yet so public.

Sometimes people who have seem me test my blood sugar countless times will stare, mesmerized, as I do it for fifth time that day. Or they'll watch me push buttons on my pump for my lunch bolus like it's the most fascinating thing ever. They don't ask questions. They don't look uncomfortable. They just look. Which is fine because, if I didn't want people to look, I wouldn't be so public about it.

Other times, like the other day, people don't notice a thing.


I attend a meeting once a month with the same people. As per usual in these kinds of meetings, everyone always sits in the same seat around the same table.

These meetings last half a day so I end up checking my sugar at least three times in a typical meeting. Check my sugar as in I dig through my purse for my glucometer, unzip it (loudly), prick my finger, draw blood, wait for the beep, suck up blood droplet in the test strip, hear another beep, suck the remaining blood off my finger, re-zip my glucometer and toss it back in my purse. Sometimes I then root around for my ziplock back of Dex4s and munch on some of those.

I also bring a snack with me to this meeting so I do all of the above and then I start pushing buttons on my insulin pump which also makes bizarre noises.

The other day I mentioned something about diabetes to the person who always sits next to me in this meeting.

"You have diabetes?!? I had no idea!"

Yeppers, I do. In fact I sit beside you, draw blood, treat low blood sugars, take drugs and count carbs every single month...and you don't notice a thing.

I'd like to think they'd notice if I slumped to the floor from a horrible low but I guess there's only one way to find out.

It's nice to have people in both camps though. Those who don't notice when I whip out a needle and stab myself right next to them in a staff meeting. And those who hear my pump beep 'low battery' and gasp "Is your pump ok? Is everything alright? Are you low? Do you need sugar?"

To which I always reply 'it's too late, I only have five minutes to live'.

And then I grin.

And laugh.

And reply 'my pump battery is low. It's really no big deal. I will tell you if I'm having a problem. Otherwise, you don't need to worry or make a scene.'

The next time they hear my pump beep, I'll get a grin rather than a scene and it's win win for everyone. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Things I Don't Say

I don't know about other bloggers out there but I have a list of topics that I'm quite willing to blog about and a list of topics that I'm not.

I have a list of people that I'm ok with naming and a list of people that I'm not.

I will happily write about what Doug and I did on the weekend if it has to do with athletic pursuits of any kind but I'm very protective about our personal life. I occasionally mention my family but never by name. I occasionally allude to the work that I do but never in any detail.

Privacy is important and I protect my own and that of others.

I also steer clear of political chat or religious discussions. Not because I don't have any opinions, just because that's not what Running on Carbs is all about. Unless of course by 'running' I mean for political office in which case my blog, for the most part, is way off topic.

Sometimes though, I wonder, whether I should voice some of my thoughts.

My thoughts about the upcoming winter olympics in Russia - where the country has made it very clear that mere hint of sexual orientation could get people tossed in jail.

Or the fact that Québec, the lovely french province in my own beloved country, has revealed a plan to prevent civil servants from wearing religious symbols at work. In a country where freedom of religious is a fundamental, universal value in our constitution. I'm embarrassed to admit that this is an actual discussion in my own country and horrified to think that it might actually pass.

My exasperation at people who promote untested truths to the detriment of others. Don't get me started on those who use scare tactics against getting flu shots or the never ending argument about whether or not vaccinations cause autism.

How about my frustration at the woman in our neighbourhood who came by to ask me to sign a petition to keep a three-storey apartment from being built down the street? She said that she was worried because 'they might be building low-income housing'. For the record I responded by saying that I hope that was exactly what 'they' were going to build because there isn't enough affordable housing available. And no, I did not sign the petition.

I find it interesting when I think that what I blog about is such a small part of who I am and what my life is all about.  And yet, even limited to diabetes, sports and the odd post about cooking with quinoa or nail polish colours, I can easily find things to write about every day.

Every blog has an audience and that audience keeps coming back because they want to read what gets posted. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that no one is checking in here to read about my political, social justice or religious views.

I guess I was just feeling a little worried that I was somehow getting put in a Running on Carbs box and I felt the need to say, for the record, that I do think about other things. That I do have some pretty strong opinions on things that I will happily voice in the right situations. That I am passionate about topics other than triathlons and basal rates. That I do read books. That I love cryptograms, sudoku puzzles and memory games.

There, I said it!

Regularly scheduled programming will resume tomorrow at the regular time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Heart Rate and GPS Watches = Cell Division

Today's blog started off as one thing but has become two things.

Kinda like cell division I guess.

My original plan for this blog was to talk about heart rate. See I've been tracking my heart rate on and off when I run for almost a year. I track it enough that I have a sense of what the numbers mean and I know when I'm pushing too hard or not hard enough.

It occurred to me that I've never once worn my heart rate monitor while cycling. So, on Sunday, I put it on. I changed my Garmin Forerunner 305 display to show heart rate when in cycling mode and I watched what happened.

Our bike ride was just under 30k and fairly flat. There was a pretty tough headwind at times as well as some short but steepish hills. I watched my heart rate like a hawk and tried to see how high I could push it.

When I run, I have learned that my heart rate goes up to 160 bpm pretty quickly and then it hovers between 160-170 unless I'm doing hills. Anything over 170 really doesn't feel good and I run into breathing issues and ear plugging annoyances. So I keep it under 170 as much as possible.

The cell division part of this blog occurred when I went to upload my workout so I could see what my heart rate did. For the first time ever, my Garmin failed to upload a workout. I restarted the laptop. I restarted the Garmin. I disconnected and reconnected everything. I downloaded the latest driver. I read online forums looking for solutions.

No luck.

So I'm now writing a blog about my cycling heart rate (as I remember it from looking at my watch) and a blog about GPS watches.

Back to my heart rate on the bike. What I found was that, when cycling at a steady state (28-30 km/hour), my heart rate stayed right around 135 bpm. When I was pushing harder into a head wind, it climbed but never to more than 150 bpm. On the toughest hill, it spiked to 153 but dropped right back down again.

Even when I was pushing as hard as I could, it didn't climb anywhere near where it climbs when I'm running.  

Running and cycling are obviously very different sports but it was interesting to see how a hard bout of cycling doesn't compare to a typical bout of running - at least heart rate-wise.

So my cycling friends, is that perfectly normal or does it mean that I am not pushing as hard as I think I'm pushing on the bike? Should my cycling and running heart rates be similar? Is 80% of max different with different activities?

On to GPS watches. I have had my refurbished Garmin Forerunner 305 for almost two years now. I know it is nearing the end of its life so I need to start figuring out what I want to buy next. I've used Forerunners for years and have had several 305s which I've loved. I like the big screen and the heart rate monitor. I like that it beeps at every kilometre and tells me how long it took me to run it. I like that it lights up so I can see the display in the early morning hours.

Of course, since I purchased my current one, I became a swimmer. This watch is not meant for swimming. I also cycle more and this watch doesn't measure cadence which I desperately want to measure.

Here is what I want. I want a watch that I will primarily use for running. It needs to be easy to read and needs to show me several things at once (pace, distance run, and time run). A heart rate monitor is also important.

I would also like this watch to be usable in the pool and in open water swims to measure distance and speed.

Finally, I want it to have a cycling mode and, I don't know if this is possible, measure cadence among other things. If this is not possible, I am willing to entertain the possibility of buying a separate GPS device that stays on my bike and shows me my cadence.

Ideally, I want a 'triathlon' watch that switches easily between sports somehow rather than needing me to hold down buttons for a few seconds or scroll through a menu because, really, who has time for that during a triathlon?

Any swimmers, runners, cyclists or triathletes out there have any great GPS devices that they recommend?  Tell me what you've tried and what you've discovered. I need to do my own research too but we all know that it's always better to learn from people who have gone before.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Getting Stronger...Step by Step

"Running doesn't get easier. We just get stronger."

A friend of mine posted that on Facebook recently and it really resonated with me.

I've been running long enough to know that I can usually push through when I don't feel like I can. That I can usually complete the long run no matter how bad it feels in the first few kilometres. That the last two kilometres of a long run are always hard, no matter how long the run is. I've learned that 14k is hard when I have to run 14k. When I have to run 18k, the first 14k is not that much of the problem.

It's about getting strong mentally and physically.

The Niagara Falls half marathon training continues. My original plan was to train up to 18k and then sign up if I felt that I could do the distance and do it well. Well, the race is more than 85% sold out (up from 75% a few days ago) so I needed to decide and quickly.

I was scheduled to run 16k on Saturday morning so I decided that would be the make or break run. I had run 14k at the cottage last weekend and it was tough and exhausting but I did it.

So I figured I'd be ok running 14k this time but that the last few kilometres would be tough.

It was.

I was tired before I started and I didn't warm up and find my groove as easily as I would have had I been running long runs all summer. I decided to ignore my pace and stick with keeping my heart rate between 165-168. I've found that, as soon as I hit 170 bpm, my ears start to plug up and I start having trouble catching my breath. So I hovered just under that in order to be able to do the distance.

I decided to break the run up into 4x4k sections. The first 4k were laboured but I forced myself to keep going until my watch beeped 4k and then I was allowed to stop for a quick drink. The next 4k were better. I never really found my groove but I felt better. At 8k I had another quick drink break and carried on. Because I've run this route before, I knew that the 12k point was on a busy road and not a good place to stop so I convinced my legs to run 5k instead of 4.  This would allow me to stop at 13k for a quick drink. It was a good psychological move because I'd be down to 3k left which would seem short after running 5k.

Running is a big mind game for me.

Sometimes I win. Sometimes I don't.

With 13k down and 3k to go, I started flagging. Fast.

I resumed my run and my ears immediately started plugging up and my breathing came in gasps. I checked and my heart rate was only 160 bpm. I walked for 20 seconds until things settled. I resumed and made it to the stop light with 1.8k to go. When the light turned green I headed off again and made it another kilometre before I walked again. I never walk in the last kilometre - it just seems ridiculous to walk when I can see the finish. But I felt so 'off' that I walked for 20 seconds and then managed to run the last few hundred metres to the end.

Running doesn't get easier. We just get stronger.

I have been running and racing all summer but 10k was the longest I have run since March. Building up the running mileage is always hard after a break. I know that and I expect it to be. By the time I reach 20k in a few weeks, 16k will be no big deal. I know that.

It used to freak me out when I had tough runs when I was training. It used to demoralize me when I struggled to do the distance.

Not anymore.

Now I know that I just need to get the mileage in. To push through without pushing beyond my limits and to slowly build my strength and my confidence. I know that I'll be fine by race day.

Trust the training. Do the work.

It will all come together.

I struggled home. I collapsed on my yoga mat with my chocolate milk and I stretched my exhausted legs. I showered and pulled on my recovery tights. I ate lunch. I sat on the couch with my coffee.

And then I signed up for the Niagara Falls half marathon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Nutritional Expert in Every Aisle

Last night I was on my own for dinner and I was craving one of the concoctions that I tend to whip up when it's just me at home. Most foods that I love, Doug loves. Most foods that he loves, I love.

There are, however, a few things in my 'love' department that fall in to his 'I'm not home for dinner tonight so if you want to do one of your kale-quinoa dinners, go ahead' department.

So I do. And I make enough for about four lunches so it keeps me going for days.

Last night I whipped up a warm salad with quinoa, edamame, chick peas, roasted portobellos, red pepper and zucchini. I steamed some kale and tossed that in a bowl. I piled the salad on top and, voilà, delicious dinner.

In order to make said dinner, I needed to go to the grocery store. I grabbed my veggies and then headed to the health food section for the frozen edamame. Since I was on my own and had plenty of time, I strolled up and down the aisles. I looked at the healthy cereals. The gluten-free crackers. The rice pasta. Just holding these items in my hand made me feel healthier and more virtuous.

I looked at the rice pasta. I know that people who eat a gluten-free diet eat rice pasta. What I didn't know was - is it good for me? Or does it just not have gluten in it? I checked the nutritional label. Yep, there are carbs and fibre and a few nutrients in there. I looked at a box of white pasta. There are carbs, fibre and a few nutrients in there too.

I know that there are strict regulations on what can and cannot be printed on food items. And that nutrition labels are made to be simple(ish) to read. But do you know what I wish? I wish that, when I read a bag of rice pasta, it said something like:

"Hi there! I'm rice pasta. I'm made from brown rice rather than wheat so I am safe for those who need a gluten free diet. I'm also good for you because I have the following things (insert correct information here) that white pasta does not have. Unfortunately, white pasta has (insert correct information here) that I don't. And in terms of (insert info), we're pretty much even so it doesn't really matter which you choose. It's up to you to decide which product is right for you but at least you have all the correct information so you can make the best decision."

Or it would be nice to have some sort of info guide available in all stores where we could look up two items we are comparing and see everything there is to know rather than just the basic nutritional information based on a serving size that makes little sense. It could tell us the differences between the two products, the similarities, which one is a better choice and why.

Better yet, I want highly trained people in each food section who can answer my questions about each and every product. It might take me three hours to do my groceries but I'd learn a lot and come home with things that might make a bit more sense to have in the cupboard.

Because really, just because a food is in the 'health food section' doesn't mean it is the most nutritionally sound choice. It could also be there because it looks like something healthy people would buy and it sells better when it's next to the rice puffs cereal and apple butter spreads.

A few months ago, when Doug and I were at a B&B, the owner was very nice and very very eager to talk about food. She asked me if I had eaten coconut butter yet. I said no.

"Oh, you have to try it. It's so good for you."

"Really? Why is it good for me?"

"It's just really really good for you health."

"How is it good for my health?"

"It just is really good for you. You should try it. Have you tried it yet?"

"Um, no. But thanks for the information."

That kind of stuff drives me batty. Just enough information to sound good but not enough to tell me anything useful. It's so easy to jump on the bandwagon and start adding tablespoons of coconut butter to my daily diet...until I'm suddenly five pounds heavier and not really any better off.

I'm no nutrition expert. I know that quinoa is good for me and I can spout off a few things about complete proteins. I know that edamame is good for me and I can talk a little bit about the benefit of adding soy products to your diet. I know that kale has lots of iron, that chick peas are a good source of protein and that veggies like zucchini and mushrooms are probably good for me too although I'm not clear on what nutrients they actually provide. I'm guessing my salad, overall, was a pretty healthy meal and that a registered dietician would nod in approval.

But rice pasta? I don't know. Coconut butter? I'm not sold.

So I came home from the store without the coconut butter. I did however bring home a bag of rice pasta. I figure that it's no worse than white pasta and it does taste pretty good so either a) there is a slight health advantage to eating it or b) there is no advantage and it's just another carb option in the cupboard.

I can live with that.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Diabetes Centre Visit - The Results

Yesterday I had my six-month appointment at the Diabetes Centre.

You might remember last week when I wrote about my two-week log of food, exercise, blood glucose readings and insulin doses. I mentioned that I had been experiencing one low per day, pretty much every day, for two weeks. Without much of a pattern to it. Sometimes at 3am. Sometimes after breakfast. Sometimes before dinner. Or after dinner.

I had a nice chat with my diabetes doctor and here is what I learned.

I'm having too many lows.

We both agree on that.

She reminded me of the general rule of thumb when it comes to lows:
- If I'm low within two hours of eating, I need to reduce my bolus amount.
- If I'm low before a meal, or in the middle of the night, I need to adjust my basal rates.

I told her that I had reduced my basal rates across the board because the lows seemed all over the place. She said that was fine. I also said that I was just (and I mean just as in five minutes ago) reduce my dinner bolus calculation to avoid the pre-bed second dinners I've had to eat to avoid 3am lows.

Within seconds of flipping through my information she noticed that I was low or under 5.0 every day at lunch time. She recommend that mornings are probably a good place to start. Since I was low by lunch, not after breakfast, my basal rates are probably too high, especially considering I exercise most mornings. So I'm dropping those down and we'll see if that helps with the before lunch stuff. Once those are better I'll be looking for after lunch and before dinner patterns.

She was really helpful. No judging. No lectures. Just another pair of eyes to pour over the numbers and try to make sense of them.

She also suggested that I try uploading the information from my pump which I have yet to try. She said it will help me identify patterns there too. Looks like I need to pull out my big bag of Animas stuff that I have tucked away in the closet and figure out how to do that this weekend.

End result?

My A1C was 6.6 which, as she put it, is fabulous if I can achieve it without too many lows. I'm experiencing too many lows so she wants me to fix that and aim for closer to 7.0 for my next appointment in February.

Yes ma'am.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August Goal Update

Hi kids!

We're back from 6 days at the cottage where we swam in the lake, ran down cottage country roads, watched hummingbirds, listened to loons and ate surprisingly healthy meals. It's always nice to be home but I do miss the peace, quiet and absolute stillness of a cottage night.

I'm a few days late on my monthly goal update but we were without wifi so it couldn't be helped. Because I'm a stickler for rules I will update as of August 31st even though I already have a run in the books for September and it would make my running goal total so much prettier.

Here are the goals I set back in January as well as a few more I've added along the way.

- complete the Tel Aviv half marathon
- stay injury free (no longer a goal as I managed to develop a stress fracture in my foot)
- complete three triathlons, including an Olympic distance
- pay down debt
- log 1000k of running this year
- complete two events in the Aktiv Swim Series this summer
- play 10 round of golf
- play the baby steps golf course until I can do it in 50 rather than 61.

Here are where things stand as of August 31st. 

Complete the Tel Aviv half marathon - done! Ran it back in March which feels like a lifetime ago now. I do have the medal and t-shirt to prove it, as well as a few horror stories of the heat wave that threw a pretty big wrench in the whole event. 

Complete three triathlons, including an Olympic distance - done and more. I managed to complete four tris this summer. Welland, Gravenhurst (Olympic distance), Belwood and Toronto Island. I'm pretty proud of having finished four and even prouder that I got better and better with each one. Tris are definitely a favourite of mine and I'm already planning my 2014 season. The 2013 season is finished for me now and I'm going to spend the off-season working on my running, swimming and cycling skills. Oh, and a hint at one of my 2014 goals: buy (and actually use) a damn wetsuit!

Pay down debt - this goal is a lot like cha cha. Two steps forward, one step back. I have good months. I have bad ones. In August, I increased my debt by a measly $42.00 but it didn't go down which is frustrating. I did look back to January 1st however and I'm happy to say that my debt since the beginning of the year is down by $4,300. So it's getting there but slowly. We're entering the birthday and Christmas season soon and there will be curling fees and new tires needed for my car so it's going to be a tight few months.

Log 1000k of running this year - I managed to run 86k in August which is the most I've run since the height of my half marathon training back in February. My foot is holding up well to the increased mileage and didn't even whimper when I ran 14k on it at the cottage...on a road that had more rolling hills than flats. My year to date running total is 494k which is so close to half that I was tempted to round up. I have four months left and, if all goes well, September will be a mileage heavy month as I train for the Niagara Falls half. I don't know if I'll actually make the 1000k but I'll be closer than I thought I would be back in April when I was limping around on a stress-fractured foot. 

Complete two events in the Aktiv Swim Series - done! In fact, I would have loved to do a few more but only two out of the six actually fell on days I was in town and able to race. I can report that I competed in two open water races, both 1.9k in length. The first one I finished in 36:53. Three weeks later, I did my second one in 35:56 (1:53 per 100m). They are a great way to train for open water swimming and triathlons but they're different because I can push hard the whole way knowing I don't have to hope out of the water and onto my bike. I will definitely do more next summer. Plus, there is another open water race weekend in Welland that I may look at in 2014. They have a 1k, 3k, 5k and 10k race. Three kilometres is totally doable so I'm thinking maybe the five? No point in reaching for the low-hanging fruit right? 

Play ten rounds of golf - golf, my latest athletic pursuit, is not on a set schedule the way running, swimming and cycling are. Some weeks I play two games. Then I play nothing for three weeks. It's up and down but I love it and want to play more. To date I've played 8 games and I have one booked in September already so I'm guessing I will meet my goal of ten. Ten games felt like a lot when I first set my target but I'm actually wishing I had more time to play and more games under my belt. Maybe I'll be able to squeeze in 4 more before I trade my golf clubs for my curling shoes? 

Play the baby steps golf course in 50 rather than 61 - the baby steps golf course is the first course I played with Doug. It's a 9-hole par 3 course. I've played it three times now. The first in 61. The second in 50 and the third in 49. (Insert polite golf clap here).

There are still four months left in 2013 and I still have things to work on. Like make it through Christmas and birthday season with less debt, not more. For the most part though, I'm on track and happy with everything I've been able to do to this point. 

And my list for 2014 is already forming in my head...